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I go,--and if I never more may steep
eager heart in your enchantments deep,
There is no attempt at grandiloquence in these verses ; most of those we have read on the same theme are written too much in the “Ercles vein." Poets produce greater effect by simplicity than by those turgid words which are too frequently mistaken for fine poetry.
For a great author Coleridge has sinned most against this law in his “religious musings," and even in that magnificent anthem to Chamouni, beginning
“ Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star,
So long thou seemest to pause,” &c.
There are many phrases which trench upon good taste, and overstep the modesty of Nature. It is easy to perceive when a poet's heart is not in his subject, by the number of gaudy epithets and elaborate metaphors; the effect of one is a certain proof of the absence of the other.
Great effects are frequently produced by the simplest words. Who can refrain from admiring the vividness of this image from Watts's Hymns ?
« For Satan trembles when he sees
This has always appeared to us as suggestive as any two lines ever written. The cowering of the grand monarch of abstract evil before a penitent is a noble image. The very attitude of humiliation to God being the overtowering defiance of the great enemy !
Of a similar class of condensed suggestiveness is the line in Green's Poem of the Spleen. Alluding to the efficacy to exercise in that complaint, the Poet says,
“Throw but a stone the Giant dies !"
A finer allusion to the combat between David and Goliah has never been made. Our recollection suggests another piece of the bold sculpture of Thought, by a few dashes of the chisel. It is from Collins's “ Ode to Fear.”
“ Danger, whose limbs of giant mould,
Or throws him on the ridgy steep
It is needless to comment on the two last lines ; there is a world of fear in the simple attitude.
We must give one more instance of the felicitous power of a few words, naturally placed, to produce a great idea. Alluding to the fate of Richard the Second, who was starved to death, Gray says:
“ Close by the regal chair
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl
Our space will not allow us to analyse“ The Women of the Nineteenth Century.” It is the less necessary, as it displays the same characteristics as Miss Fuller's other writings.
It is an additional evidence of her freshness of mind, and fearlessness of testifying to the truth, as it appears to her. However unpalatable and strange the opinions she advocates now appear, we feel pretty certain every year will bring the world nearer to their recognition, and the wonder then will be how
any rational being could have doubted them. We should not be giving a complete portrait of Miss Fuller if we were to omit noticing her capabilities as a traveller, and an observant visitor of foreign lands; in this respect her letters to the “ Tribune” are admirable specimens of observation. We were much amused at the humorous hints she occasionally throws out on the distribution of labor between the sexes. Lamb had the same notion that mankind never could pretend to any "gallantry," so long as they allowed the housemaids to do all the work. Miss Fuller seems inclined to turn the lords of creation into washerwomen.
“ The Reform Club was the only one of those splendid establishments that I visited. Certainly the force of comfort can no further go, nor can anything be better contrived to make dressing, eating, news-getting, and even sleeping (for there are bed-rooms as well as dressing-rooms for those who will), be got through with as glibly as possible. Yet to me this palace of so many single gentlemen rolled into one,' seemed stupidly comfortable in the absence of that elegant arrangement and vivacious atmosphere which only Women can inspire. In the kitchen, indeed, I met them, and on that account it seemed the pleasantest part of the building—though, even there they are but the servants of servants. There reigned supreme a genius in his way, who has published a work on Cookery, and around him his pupils—young men who pay a handsome yearly fee for novitiate under his instruction. I am not sorry, however, to see men predominant in the cooking department, as I hope to see that and washing transferred to their care in the progress of things, since they are the stronger sex.”
“ The arrangements of this kitchen were very fine, combining great convenience with neatness, and even elegance. Fourier himself might have taken pleasure in them. Thence we passed into the private apartments of the artist, and found them full of pictures by his wife, an artist in another walk. One or two of them had been engraved. She was an Englishwoman.
« We also get a glimpse, returning from a John Gilpin pilgrimage to Edmonton, of the residence of the German poet Freiligrath.
Returning, we passed the house where Freiligrath finds a temporary home, earning the bread of himself and his family in a commercial house. England houses the exile, but not without house-tax, window-tax, and head-tax. Where is the Arcadia that dares invite all genius to her arms, and change her golden wheat for their green laurels and immortal flowers ? Arcadia-would the name were America !'”
Whenever a man of genius speaks to the public, in proportion as he is true to his own nature he must offend theirs. It is not possible to serve God and mammon : equally impossible is it to preach against the prevalence of error, and not to rouse the priests of Baal, and their crowds of believers. This has been the history of the human mind. As the poet says:
“ The truth for which some great-souled martyr died
Any book that rouses no discussion is needless ; it is in fact an impertinence. Why stop the public in Broadway to tell them what they know, or echo some old opinion ?
It is evidently the wish of Miss Fuller to join issue with the common-place, and to speak out her own nature firmly, though with a becoming deference to the old worn-out creeds of humanity. It is a striking proof of the blindness of the world, that, although it owes every blessing to those men who boldly in bygone times spoke out new opinions, it nevertheless precisely imitates the conduct of those persecutors, whom they are in the constant habit of branding as bigoted and sanguinary fiends. Do these shortsighted human bats never reflect that in a few years their own children will be compelled to regard them in the same odious light? Let the public reflect ere they draw down the anathema of posterity.
These remarks have been forced from us by the charge we have heard brought against our gifted authoress of being a socialist and a sceptic! Of all egotisms that which denies to an,